Monday Motivation: Knuckle Puck

If you’re anything like me, you probably started the day by recognizing that the start of a new work week had indeed arrived and then immediately began shaking your fists at the sky in anger. Monday is rarely anyone’s favorite day, and from what I have seen firsthand it feels safe to say it’s the one day of the week some people outright hate. I guess to them the arrival of the work week symbolizes the end of their quote/unquote freedom, and as a result they head into the office/factory/restaurant/store with a negative outlook already on their mind. This leads to bad attitudes, which only makes the experience of being at work worse, and for some reason it also seems to make time slow to a crawl. We’re not about that life, and we hope this post can do the same you that the song contained within it did for us.

Pop-punk has been the dominating force in alternative music and youth culture for the better part of half a decade at this point, and it doesn’t take close inspection to realize signs of aging are starting to show. The generation that ushered this sound to forefront has begun to mature, as have their interests, and the time has come for the bands who want to make music their longterm career to evolve right along with them. Not everyone is up to the challenge, or at least the seems to be the case given the material released by the scene in 2015, but every so often a band comes along that isn’t afraid to embrace the constant evolution of life and depict in the music. In 2015, there may be no better example of this than Chicago’s own pop-punk heroes, Knuckle Puck.

This week, Knuckle Puck will release their new full-length album through Rise Records. The record speaks of growing up, seeing the world, and spending a little too much time in one’s own head. It’s not about hating yourself and learning to make change, or even apologizing for the times you’ve been wrong. Instead, ‘Copacetic’ deals with accepting the fact that growth is a constant work in progress, and it’s defined by small steps rather than giant leaps. It’s about learning to be patient without losing your drive to do whatever you are able to create the life you want, and it’s a message the entire alternative scene needs at this moment.

I could pick any song on this record and find a reason for the entire album to be chosen for today’s Monday Motivation post, but for me it’s “Evergreen” that seals this record as one everyone should hear. This particular segment has been bowling me over for weeks:

“As I exhale this breath of fresh air, I feel the distance tear the space between us. Cause we’re always climbing toward the sun, but the cabin pressure gets to me. And there’s so much more than we think there is to see.”

There is something about working in music that makes everyone who partakes blind to the world around them. Phone calls home become more infrequent, friends whose careers reside in more common fields become increasingly distant, and try as you might to learn how to settle down with age your thirst for adventure, or simply to always be seeking something new, only continues to grow in time. While there are certainly perks to seeing the world from this perspective it always has drawbacks, including the loneliness the freedom of expression can create. Freedom, like life, is only ideal when it can be enjoyed with others you care for, and throughout Copacetic there is a fervent belief there is more to life than shows, chords, and tours. That is something everyone in music needs to remember, as well as the fact it’s not wrong to take time to enjoy that side of life. We all need a release. Copacetic finds Knuckle Puck seeking their escape while still wanting nothing more than to be the source of comfort their fans love, and through sharing their struggle we too realize our need for a bit of peace amidst the chaos of existence.


James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also a professional entertainment critic, covering both film and music, as well as the co-founder of Antique Records. Feel free to tell him you love or hate the article above by connecting with him on Twitter. Bonus points if you introduce yourself by sharing your favorite Simpsons character.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.